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Customer Case Study

Auckland Theatre Company

Auckland Theatre Company ASB Waterfront Theatre

Auckland Theatre Company presents NZ digital cinema first

The argument for switching from traditional Xenon projectors to newer laser phosphor solid state light projectors is pitched on lower costs and brightness. And while these selling points rung true for Auckland Theatre Company (ATC), it was the ‘wheel-in wheel-out’ convenience of NEC’s digital laser projector that really stole the show.

Since opening its doors in September 2016, the ASB Waterfront Theatre has become a permanent cultural addition to Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter. The home of ATC, the 660-seat international standard theatre shows both stage performances and movies.

Requiring a projector setup that worked well in a mixed theatre environment, ATC chief executive Lester McGrath chose NEC’s digital cinema projector to deliver a high-quality movie experience that is quite literally wheeled into place.

Projector Booth Headache

Because Xenon light source projectors are hot and noisy they must be housed in a special purpose booth. But building one was the last thing ATC project manager Andrew Malmo wanted to do. Never mind that the booth structure needed to be erected for movies and then dissembled for the theatre to function for stage performances. And then there was the added complication of hooking up heat extraction. “All doable,” said Malmo. “But it looked like a major – a nightmare we could do without.”

The Economics of Laser Technology

McGrath and Malmo evaluated three tenders, opting for NEC, aware of the company’s successful projector installation at the refurbished Isaac Royal Theatre, in Christchurch. The plan for a ‘boothless’ cinema setup at the ASB Waterfront Theatre swung the spotlight to digital laser technology, also proven as a more economic option, with lasers known to deliver a minimum of 10,000 hours of projector time compared to the few thousand hours between bulb changes for Xenon projectors.

Plug and Play

ATC’s NEC projector is stored backstage and wheeled into position for movie sessions. “Plug it in – boom – you’re a cinema,” said Malmo. “Compare that to what we would have had to do with a temporary booth structure.”

ATC’s NEC NC1201L DLP Cinema Projector

Designed for auditoriums with screens up to 46-feet wide, the projector delivers precise 2K (2048 x 1080) resolution, 3-D capabilities, and up to 20,000 hours of laser life. ATC’s projector and screen combination meets DCI requirements for site lines, screen, brightness of image, and quality.

Working with NEC

After-service care is very important to ATC, who are covered by an NEC service package that keeps critical spare parts on-site and a technician on-call.

Learn More

Contact your NEC account manager to bring a superior cinematic experience to your theatre the simple way.

Call 04 381 1111 (Wellington), 09 304 0430 (Auckland) or click the link below.

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